A year ago, Adrien Tambay moved from Bregenz to bustling London. Now, he changed teams as well. In 2016, the Frenchman will be competing for Audi Sport Team Rosberg for the first time in the DTM.
From swapping cockpits with Nico Müller, Dieter Gass, Head of DTM bei Audi Sport, expects fresh impetus for Adrien Tambay’s career that was slightly stalling last year. “The 2015 season was extremely bad,” says the Frenchman. “But I’ve long chalked it up to experience and am only looking ahead. I had a very good time at ABT and am sure that in 2016 we could have done better. But now I’m getting a fresh start in Audi Sport Team Rosberg. The squad has very good people. I get along well with Jamie (Green). Plus, it’s a two-car team – I look forward to that.”
Tambay would like to pick up where he left off in the 2014 season that earned him a pole position and podium places. The big aim for 2016 is his first victory in the DTM. “I know I’ve got the potential to achieve it,” says the Frenchman whose father, Patrick Tambay, was active in Formula One – including commitments for Ferrari.
The “27” on Tambay’s black Speedweek.com Audi RS 5 DTM is meant as a reminiscence of his father as well. “At Ferrari, my father took the ‘27’ over from Gilles Villeneuve. Gilles Villeneuve, Ayrton Senna and my father are my great idols,” he says.
Before the past DTM season, Adrien Tambay changed his main place of residence to England. “I have a great apartment in London’s Chelsea,” he says enthusiastically. “London is a fantastic city for a young man my age. I feel comfortable there.”
Tambay keeps fit primarily by riding his bicyle – a passion he shares with his new teammate, Jamie Green. “We’ve already made plans to ride our bikes together along the Côte d’Azur. When I’m at home in France, Monaco, where Jamie lives, isn’t far away.”
Like most of his fellow DTM drivers, Adrien Tambay feels that nine race weekends are not enough. “In the future, I’d like to drive a GT3 race here and there for Audi,” he says. “This year, I contested the Trophée Andros for Team WRT. It’s one of the best Audi teams in GT racing, which really impressed me. Maybe an opportunity for other GT3 races will arise from that.”
The French Trophée Andros ice racing series gave Adrien Tambay a lot of his self-confidence back last winter. “I competed in an Audi A1 and the races went much better than expected. Even better than they did for my much more experienced WRT teammate Olivier Panis, who has been contesting the series for ten years and was the championship runner-up the year before. That was really good for me. The ice races keep me on my toes in winter because, in total, we drive far too little in the DTM for my taste.”
That’s why Tambay is particularly pleased that two races per weekend have been held in the DTM since last year. “We’re race drivers – the more races we drive, the better for us,” he says. “Plus, I think the new format is well-received by the spectators, too.”
In winter, Tambay traveled to the ice races in an Audi SQ5. However, for the new DTM season, he is planning to switch back to the most popular RS model of all Audi race drivers: the RS 6. “The car is simply fantastic,” Tambay enthuses about the vehicle.
Tambay thinks its “cool” that Audi Sport is becoming a brand in its own right. “This is a positive development I’m very happy about.”